Religion is a Sanctuary for Those Who Feel Alienated or Marginalized
August 14, 2011 by Sharon Groves, Director, Religion and Faith Program
Over and over again we hear from media, politicians, and some pastors that religion is on one side and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community is on another. This narrow view of religion is causing serious harm to young people who feel as if they have a choice to either remain in their congregation but in the closet or leave their faith behind.
Such a perspective also does terrible damage to the mothers and fathers of LGBT youth who feel they have to choose between God and their family. Such a dichotomy is devastating to families and creates unnecessary physical, psychic, not to mention spiritual damage.
The panelists on today’s discussion, A Public Witness: the Power of Faith Advocacy for Equality, suggest that such draconian choices belies the spirit of our faith traditions. For these speakers religion is a sanctuary for those who feel alienated or marginalized, it open doorways for neighbors and families to experience the healing presence of God together.
It should never be about cutting people off from God’s grace. Unfortunately it is sometimes hard to hear these voices in the midst of those who use religion as a weapon against LGBT people which is why religious leaders need to find ways to be more public about their faith convictions for equality.
This panel brings together a rich diversity of faith leaders who offer a different message of healing to families and young people in their congregations and within the larger community. They are shaping a new way to speak about the power of religion. HRC is proud to partner with Equality Utah to share their wisdom and the lessons they have learned through their faith journeys.
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